There was a meme that I ran across recently that summed up so much of my frustrations lately. The gist of the meme was Rage Against the Machine must have been talking about 3D printers. Yeah, it made me laugh. Sure, there is a lot you can do with a 3D printer. But part of the fun is all the extra aggravation that comes with it.
Over the past couple weeks, I started having some leveling issues. For clarification, when printing, the print head and the build plate need to be level to each other or you will have all sorts of issues. And this is where things can get complicated. See, I had everything level and working fairly well. But there were still issues. I ended up trying all sorts of fixes to see if I could get it working right. But nothing was working for more than a print or two. You get to a point where you really have to dig deep and see if you can find the root cause.
So I spent some time checking the build plate with a metal straight edge. It dipped in the center. There are ways around this but I will come to that. As it turned out, the removable build plate that came with my printer is a softer material and flexes for easier part removal. I have a rising suspicion that with as much as I print, the flex plate ended up conforming to the dip in the center of the metal plate. So both of them were pretty much worthless for printing. And still nothing was sticking to the plate like it should.
Bring in the latest fix. I ended up ordering a glass build plate. It is the branded one from Creality (the maker of the Ender 3 Pro I am currently using). Their glass plates are coated to have a surface that prints stick too without help. Yeah…
If you read the various reviews online, you run into people that it works great for and others it does absolutely nothing for. Much like the metal plate that everything rests on, some people have bent ones and some have good ones. Apparently, my luck is running on the bad side for these parts. I am in the side of finding alternate solutions.
My first attempt and fixing the beast was with isopropyl alcohol. I wiped down the glass surface to clean off any odd residue that might be causing the issue. That didn’t work. I had a couple solutions still that I hadn’t tried yet. I could go with stick glue, or hair spray. The glue just sounded messy so I went with hair spray. Picked up a bottle of Aqua Net from Dollar General.
I’m happy to say that this seems to be the bit I needed. Did a print overnight that turned out great. I still see an issue with leveling that I should be able to iron out but otherwise the print came out great. So now I’m working on some other stuff and don’t see any issues at all. Color me pleased.
Anyway, while I was having all manner of issues, I still managed to print out my first house. This one was a tester to see how things would look. I’m going to be putting together a small town for Shadows of Brimstone soon. The idea is a western themed town as the main starting area for adventures. Might take me a bit but I am feeling pretty confident right now that I should be getting good prints again soon. Anyway, the pictures throughout this post are the first house at various stages. I think it came out fairly well.
At some point I might even get to painting terrain pieces. I have no idea when that will happen.
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